Recruitment and Selection: Comparative Management (Recruitment and Selection Process) Between American-Style and Japanese-Style

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One of the quotes that Lovelock and Wirtz (2007) had compiled in the latest edition of Services Marketing: People, Technology and Strategy is regarding people as assets by Jim Collins. He said:

The old adage, “People are your most important asset,” is wrong. The right people are your most important asset.

Although Lovelock and Wirtz’s Services Marketing refer ‘people’ (one of the 7Ps) as those in front-line positions, this quote can also be pointed out to any individual in the organisation. In other word, ‘people’ can also refer to employees of an organisation, and based on Collins’s quote, having the right people is most crucial. This requires a hiring process that is not only effective, but beneficial to the organisation.

With that said, many organisations have different hiring processes, still, it can be generalised based on the organisations’ countries of origins. Among the popular ones are management practices from two of the world’s largest economies by nominal GDP: the United States of America (hereinafter the US) and Japan (Wikipedia, 2007). Both these countries are often being compared in many aspects, especially in business, because multinational companies such as General Motors and Microsoft from the US, and Toyota and Sony from Japan have been successful through their contrasting styles of management, as they originate from different corners of the world – the US in the west and Japan in the East.

Thus, the purpose of this study is to form a comparative human resource management system, particularly the recruitment and selection process, between American-style and Japanese-style management. The research begins with the identification of the research question and the importance of performing this study. This is followed by the presentation of previous related studies of the comparison, and is concluded with analyses of each key points based on the related studies.


The research question, which determines the scope of this study, focuses on comparing and contrasting American-style and Japanese-style management in terms of the hiring / recruitment and selection process. It also looks into what influence the differences between each style. As such, the research question is described as:

What are the differences between American-style and Japanese-style of management in the recruitment and selection process, and the factors affecting these differences?


Today’s world is getting more advance and more dynamic. Because of this, times like this are more challenging for organisations – they need to be able to meet globalisation, which calls for more competition, leading to more pressure to improve. As such, Marquardt and Engel (1993) believed that it is crucial to search for competencies required in global, cross-cultural jobs. After all, Dessler (2005) noted that for organisations that do business internationally, the key player that is able to help organisations in achieving their strategic aims is the human resource function.

The American-style and the Japanese-style of management are usually referred to as two effective management styles in globalisation. However, the American-style are taught in the majority of business-related studies in education institutions, since the US is more recognised due to its reputation of being at the top; as a result, despite studies by researchers for the past many years and unless readings on those studies are being done, not many are aware of Japanese-style management that see employees as assets in the long run – normally seen in the recruitment and selection process.

Thus, this study is designed through the research question, “What are the differences between American-style and Japanese-style of management in the recruitment and selection process, and the factors...
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